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Sunday, 10 March 2019

People on Twitter are like friends who crash a party

People like to have their biases confirmed on social media. Proof is the response I had to a post I made about the way politicians and other public figures are treated on social media. I had spent about four hours one day surveying the types of comments that people used to attack individuals, as opposed to attacking policies. Most of the language I picked out was insulting and some of it was obscene. The majority was from political progressives attacking politicians who are part of the government. The post is on the blog if you want to read it.

Then someone said today on Twitter, "Good grief man. Get a life." I responded by saying that someone has to do the hard work. She responded to this in this way: "I don’t think you know the meaning of hard work. Looks like you have a lot of time on your hands."

Progressives are always complaining that conservatives ignore the evidence when it comes to things like climate change. They want the Liberal Party to take what scientists say more seriously. But what my story shows is that this only applies if what you have to say confirms their own beliefs. If you show them something that can be construed as an attack on their prejudices, they will try to belittle your achievement.

If you see this kind of thing – as I did with the insults being hurled on Twitter at politicians – and you yourself have mainly progressive views, then find yourself at a crossroads. It’s sort of like crashing a party when you are a teenager with a group of friends. They are your friends and you like them but you see them doing things that are bad, like drinking all the vodka, trashing the living room, stealing things, and aggressively hitting on girls at the party who are trying to have a good time. How do you deal with this sort of thing if there’s a fight outside the house later on and someone is seriously injured or even killed? How do you react if the cops ask you questions, when you saw what was being done by your friends? How do you deal with this kind of ugly situation? Where do your loyalties lie?

This is how I feel when I see people who have views that are similar to mine behaving badly on social media. I can understand why they are doing what they are doing but I disagree with their conduct, in fact I find it objectionable in the extreme.

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